College is a time when young people get their first true taste of independence. That is liberating and exciting for a lot of reasons, but it can also have a dark side. When you put thousands of young people in the same place with very limited restrictions on their time and freedoms, it is inevitable that unwanted, unintended, and even illegal things will happen.
In any given year there are tens of thousands of crimes reported on American college campuses. These happen no matter how prestigious a school is, how large or small it is, or where it is located. In most cases, the crimes are quite minor (though still illegal) and in others, they are shocking and tragic.
To give you a sense of the situation, we have listed the five most common crimes on college campuses below. They are not ranked in any particular order because college crime reporting can be spotty. But they all happen frequently, and all require the help of a criminal defense lawyer to represent the accused party.
Crimes Explained by a Criminal Defense Lawyer
This usually involves underage drinking, but it can also include buying alcohol for minors, DUI charges, and other alcohol-related crimes. Even though this type of crime happens on almost every campus on an almost daily basis, it is not something to dismiss. The dangers of alcohol are well documented. Plus, the law is eager and able to prosecute offenders they believe pose a risk to public safety. If you are charged with an alcohol-related crime, do not assume you will receive a slap on the wrist. Reach out to a criminal defense lawyer who can help you stand up for your rights.
The close quarters of the average college campus mean that theft is common. And considering that the average college student has the vast majority of their most prized possessions stored in their dorm room, the temptation for thieves is strong. However, as common as theft may be, it is very easy to be accused of crimes based only on assumptions and innuendos rather than hard evidence. If you are accused of theft, you should reach out to an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately. Do not let yourself be branded a thief when you are surrounded by others who are just a likely to be the culprit. Partner with a criminal defense lawyer instead.
The unique nature of a college environment tragically means that instances of sexual assault and other types of sex crimes are more common than they are in the general population. These crimes can affect any student, regardless of gender, and there is often intoxicants involved, which only makes a difficult situation worse. The victims of sex crimes deserve limitless sympathy and support, but the parties who are accused also have rights. With the help of a criminal defense lawyer, a college student accused of a sex crime can ensure that their side of the story enters the record. A criminal defense lawyer is there to fight for what is right and fair even when no one else will.
For many, college is a time of experimentation. But however common drug use may be, it is almost always a crime. For liability reasons, colleges are not inclined to turn a blind eye to any form of drug use. And in the case of production and distribution, they will use every legal mechanism available to hold someone responsible. A criminal defense lawyer can work with students who have been accused of drug crimes to argue for their innocence or plea for a lesser sentence. Many drug crimes carry a significant sentence, which is why the counsel of a dedicated criminal defense lawyer is so important.
This is a blanket term that encompasses all kinds of violence that are common on college campuses. It could come in the form of a drunken fight, as hazing as part of a fraternity initiation, or as systematic bullying within the dorms. Assault is a real problem on college campuses, but that does not mean everyone who is accused of assault is a violent aggressor. In many cases, assault is a felony crime with a punitive sentence attached. Rather than being branded as a violent person for the rest of your life, reach out to a criminal defense lawyer to serve as your advocate.
It is a common mistake to believe when something happens on a college campus the police will not become involved. Even though colleges have their own security staff, they work in cooperation with local police departments. And they will not hesitate to involve the law even for seemingly minor offenses. Do not put your studies, reputation, and future in jeopardy by not working with a criminal defense lawyer. Reach out to Chad F. Bank Attorney at Law for a free consultation by calling 401-229-5088.